I remember Mandela’s smile – Francois Pienaar

2013-12-10 12:08

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One of former Springbok captain Francois Pienaar’s abiding memories when he lifted the 1995 Rugby World Cup trophy was Nelson Mandela’s smile, he has said.

Talking to journalists at the former president’s memorial service at the FNB Stadium in Joburg today, Pienaar said Mandela had an incredible love for his country and its people.

“He wanted this country to be a pillar of hope to the world and a beacon to Africa,” he said.

Referring to the surprise of how people on the street reacted to the 1995 victory, Pienaar said: “It’s very difficult to describe what happened to people who are not South African.”

Pienaar, wearing his Springbok blazer, was accompanied by current Springbok skipper Jean de Villers, who said it was “a great celebration”.

“[We’re here to] celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela,” De Villiers said, also dressed in his Springbok blazer. “He gave so much to so many around the world.”

Mandela died in his Houghton home in Joburg aged 95 on Thursday.

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